Liam Kirk (ice hockey)

Liam Kirk (born 3 January 2000) is an English professional ice hockey player currently on loan to Sheffield Steelers of the EIHL from the Peterborough Petes. Kirk began his career with the English Elite Ice Hockey League club the Sheffield Steelers.

Liam Kirk
Born (2000-01-03) 3 January 2000 (age 21)
Maltby, England, UK
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 187 lb (85 kg; 13 st 5 lb)
Position Forward
Shoots Left
EIHL team
Former teams
Sheffield Steelers
Sheffield Steeldogs
Hanhals IF
National team  Great Britain
NHL Draft 189th overall, 2018
Arizona Coyotes
Playing career 2016–present

Internationally Kirk has played for the British national team, and helped them win promotion to the Elite Division at the 2018 IIHF World Championship Division I tournament. He also helped ensure the team a place at the 2020 IIHF World Championship at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

In June 2018 he was drafted in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Arizona Coyotes, becoming the first player born and trained in England to be drafted into the NHL.[1]

Playing careerEdit

United KingdomEdit

Growing up in Maltby, a small former mining town in South Yorkshire, Kirk first got into hockey when his parents and family went to watch the Sheffield Steelers. His brother Jonathan got into ice hockey and Kirk wanted to be like his brother, so he also started playing.[2]

Kirk began playing for the Sheffield Junior Academy. He was selected for the Midlands Conference – a team consisting of the best players from the Midlands region of the UK at U11, U13, U15 and U17 level – every year of eligibility, winning the EIHA Conference Tournament twice and being named a tournament all-star six times out of a possible eight, as well as being named tournament MVP three times.[citation needed]

Playing in the England U18 North League in the 2015–16 season, Kirk amassed a league-leading 98 points, with 60 goals and 38 assists. The same year, the U18 team from Sheffield won the league title. He was also selected for the Great Britain U16s.

Continuing his success as an U18, Kirk played in the EPL for the Sheffield Steeldogs (league now defunct) and was signed by the Sheffield Steelers on a three-year apprentice contract.[3]

In February 2021, after a similar loan stint in Sweden, Kirk temporarily returned to the UK by signing on loan with NIHL side Sheffield Steeldogs ahead of their Spring Cup series.[4][5]

In March 2021, Kirk was named as part of the Sheffield Steelers squad to take part in the 2021 'Elite Series'.[6][7]

North AmericaEdit

Kirk was selected 189th overall (in the 7th Round) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Arizona Coyotes. He became the first player born and trained in England to be drafted into the NHL. Kirk was selected 8th overall in the CHL Import Draft later in June and currently plays for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League.[8]

Stint in SwedenEdit

With the 2020–21 Ontario Hockey League season not scheduled to begin until December 2020, Kirk signed for Swedish Hockeyettan side Hanhals IF on a short-term deal on 17 October, 2020.[9]

International playEdit

Kirk has played for the British national team in several international tournaments at both the junior and senior level.

In the 2017–18 season, he played for the U18s, coming away with a gold medal. For the U20s, he collected a range of awards such as Best Forward, Most Points, Most Assists, Most Goals, as well as the Best Face-off Percentage (71.43%) and a bronze medal.

His senior debut came at the 2018 IIHF World Championship Division I, where he helped Great Britain earn promotion to the 2019 World Championship. It marks Great Britain's first appearance at the elite division since 1994. Kirk played five games, though he did not score a point.[10]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2015–16 Sheffield Steeldogs EPIHL 15 0 1 1 0 2 1 1 2 0
2015–16 Sheffield Spartans NIHL 7 4 2 6 0
2016–17 Sheffield Steelers EIHL 19 0 0 0 2
2016–17 Sheffield Steeldogs EPIHL 38 20 25 45 12
2017–18 Sheffield Steelers EIHL 52 9 7 16 6
2018–19 Peterborough Petes OHL 63 26 21 47 26 5 0 1 1 0
2019–20 Peterborough Petes OHL 47 21 29 50 25
2020–21 Hanhals IF Hockeyettan 12 5 5 10 2
OHL totals 110 47 50 97 51 5 0 1 1 0

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2016 Great Britain WJC18-D2 26th 5 2 1 3 4
2017 Great Britain WJC18-D2 27th 5 6 2 8 6
2017 Great Britain WJC-D1 22nd 5 2 2 4 0
2018 Great Britain WJC18-D2 23rd 5 4 3 7 2
2018 Great Britain WJC-D2 25th 5 7 7 14 6
2018 Great Britain WC-D1 17th 5 0 0 0 0
2019 Great Britain WJC-D2 25th 5 5 9 14 4
2019 Great Britain WC 13th 6 0 0 0 0
Junior totals 30 26 24 50 22
Senior totals 11 0 0 0 0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "NHL draft: England's Liam Kirk picked by Arizona Coyotes". BBC Sport. 24 June 2018.
  2. ^ Morreale, Mike G. (25 June 2018). "Kirk hopes to make England proud in 2018 NHL Draft". NHL.com. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Cole Shudra and Liam Kirk Sign 3 Year Apprentice Contracts with the Steelers". sheffieldsteelers.co.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  4. ^ https://www.britishicehockey.co.uk/post/nihl-spring-cup-opening-fixtures-confirmed/
  5. ^ https://www.britishicehockey.co.uk/post/kirk-im-a-different-player-now/
  6. ^ https://www.eliteleague.co.uk/article/991-2021-elite-series-confirmed-for-april-may
  7. ^ https://www.eliteleague.co.uk/article/1002-teams-confirm-protected-lists
  8. ^ "Coyotes prospect Liam Kirk commits to Petes". ontariohockeyleague.com. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Liam Kirk next new acquisition from OHL" (in Swedish). 17 October 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Liam Kirk at eliteprospects.com". www.eliteprospects.com.

External linksEdit

Biographical information and career statistics from Eliteprospects.com, or Eurohockey.com, or The Internet Hockey Database